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National Society Of Film Critics Really Likes ‘The Social Network’

Mike Fleming

The National Society of Film Critics has voted The Social Network the year’s best picture today at the Gotham eatery Sardi’s. The group also named the film’s star, Jesse Eisenberg, best actor, gave best director honors to David Fincher, and honored Aaron Sorkin for best screenplay. While that put the critics group in the position of joining the crowd, they went in an intriguing direction when they chose Giovanna Mezzogiorno for best actress for her performance in Vincere. Supporting nods went to The King’s Speech star Geoffrey Rush and The Ghost Writer‘s Olivia Williams.

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Polanski Sweeps European Film Awards

The Ghost Writer has won 6 European Film Academy awards, the European equivalent of the Oscars, this evening in Tallinn, Estonia. Polanski’s thriller won Best European Film, while Polanski picked up Best Director and shared the screenwriting award with co-author Robert Harris. Ewan McGregor won Best Actor, while production design and music were also honored. In an interview this weekend, Harris said the Swiss authorities were so understanding about Polanski’s need to finish editing The Ghost Writer, they moved editing equipment into the prison where he was being held while facing deportation back to the U.S last year. More than 2,300 academy members voted.

EUROPEAN FILM 2010
THE GHOST WRITER, France/Germany/UK
directed by Roman Polanski
written by Robert Harris & Roman Polanski produced by Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde & Roman Polanski

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2010
Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN ACTRESS 2010
Sylvie Testud in LOURDES

EUROPEAN ACTOR 2010
Ewan McGregor in THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER 2010
Robert Harris & Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER

CARLO DI PALMA EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARD 2010 Giora Bejach for LEBANON

EUROPEAN EDITOR 2010
Luc Barnier & Marion Monnier for CARLOS

EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER 2010
Albrecht Konrad for THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2010
Alexandre Desplat for THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN DISCOVERY 2010- Prix FIPRESCI
LEBANON, Israel/Germany/France
written & directed by Samuel Maoz
produced by Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, David Silber, Uri Sabag, Einat Bickel, Benjamina Mirnik & Illan Girard

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY DOCUMENTARY – Prix ARTE 2010 NOSTALGIA DE LA LUZ (Nostalgia for the Light), France/Germany/Chile Directed by Patricio Guzmán

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

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OSCAR: No T-Day Slowdown For Contenders

Pete Hammond

Traditionally, most Hollywood businesses grind to a halt for the 5-day Thanksgiving holiday. But not this wide-open awards season. Tangled had its official Academy screening last Sunday morning but only drew about 200 people. Instead, the holidays actually seem like a good time to push an animated Disney musical. So Disney isn’t even taking Turkey Day off: instead, the studio has skedded screenings of Tangled at the DGA open to all Guild and Academy members. This isn’t actually a new practice. In the past, Oscar hopefuls like Dreamgirls, The Lord Of The Rings, and others have done the same thing at the DGA theater drawing surprisingly strong crowds of potential voters on a day most people are thought to stay at home. Disney also sent a note warning some early voting groups that they wouldn’t be able to send screeners of the film before deadlines for ballots (piracy concerns are part of that problem), so the T-Day screenings take on even greater import.

Tangled aside, distributors have been rushing to get screeners in as many voter hands as possible before Thanksgiving when they think people will have more time on their hands to pop a DVD in the player before the real crunch comes in December. Among those sent in the last few days are The Social Network, Made In Dagenham, Inside Job, Stone, Let Me In, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Conviction, Never Let Me Go, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,  The Town, Inception, Hereafter, Legends Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, and The Ghost Writer.

Meanwhile, campaign season continues. Over the weekend, American Cinematheque also proved why it can be a very useful tool during awards season by hosting two sold-out events  for Oscar hopefuls. Saturday night, there was a tribute to Pierce Brosnan at the Aero in Santa Monica with a double feature of Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer and Matador. Inbetween, Pierce appeared for a nearly hour-long Q&A (I moderated) in which he discussed his career from TV’s Remington Steele to James Bond to an Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer in which he plays ex-British Prime Minister (Tony Blair, anyone?) now writing his controversial memoir. Summit Entertainment is hoping the pic will land him in the Best Supporting Actor conversation. Its early February release is a hindrance but by having a toney organization like American Cinematheque create these little tribute evenings, studios believe they can get the “right” kind of association for their contenders.

It was completely sold out, as was the next night at the same venue which hosted a Q&A session with writer Aaron Sorkin and stars Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield and Armie Hammer following a special screening of Sony Pictures’ The Social Network. All were talking about the genius of Director David Fincher (away on location in Sweden shooting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake) and the number of takes he would require of his actors. “Sometimes there would be 99 of them, but not 100, never 100,” Timberlake said. In an encouraging sign for writerly respect, most of the audience questions from the predominantly young crowd were surprisingly directed at Sorkin who said dialogue-heavy movie might have been written by Paddy Chayefsky in another era. Not bad company to be in since Paddy won no less than three screenwriting Oscars. Some are asking if there is any way Sorkin can lose the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar this year? Especially after The Social Network opened to near-unanimous acclaim and strong business for a drama.

Other Best Picture competitors were also active over the weekend Read More »

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